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New homeowner left with no garden as her builder disappears with £7,000

PUBLISHED: 12:16 04 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:42 06 May 2019

Fiona Lever in her garden which her workman abandoned. Photo: Archant

Fiona Lever in her garden which her workman abandoned. Photo: Archant

Archant

A workman has left a customer with no garden after digging it up and disappearing with her £7,000.

Materials left in Mrs Lever's garden, Picture: Ella WilkinsonMaterials left in Mrs Lever's garden, Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Fiona Lever paid a trader called Suffolk Garden Solutions to landscape her back garden at her new home on Queens Road, Brandon.

But instead of getting a garden with a gazebo and gravel bed, the 58-year-old has been left with no grass and lots of grief.

Materials are still strewn across the dug up garden after the landscaper left last week and never returned.

The tradesman, Declan Day, also took her old fences away and never replaced them, leaving her garden open to her neighbours on both sides.

Fiona's garden has been dug up. Picture: Ella WilkinsonFiona's garden has been dug up. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Mrs Lever said Mr Day was last on site on Friday April 26 but left around midday telling her he had to go and get some new fence panels.

He has not returned and has not responded to any of her calls or messages.

“I thought I would give a new business a chance,” she said. “He seemed like an earnest young man, but it has been awful. I have lost trust and confidence.”

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She said she was speaking out to warn others.

Mrs Lever initially paid Mr Day a £4,000 deposit for the £10,200 project.

But just before her job began she said Mr Day asked her for another £3,000 claiming his lock-up had been broken into and he needed more money.

She transferred the cash to him on April 24.

Fiona Lever in her garden which her workman abandoned. Photo: Archant Fiona Lever in her garden which her workman abandoned. Photo: Archant

When he did not return Mrs Lever went to Mr Day's address in Mildenhall but she was told by the occupant he did not live there.

She has now complained to the website MyBuilder.com through which she hired Suffolk Garden Solutions and the account for the firm has been removed.

Mrs Lever has also contacted Suffolk Trading Standards as well as ActionFraud.

“I used a legitimate website and they are supposed to have carried out vetting,” she said.

Fiona Lever paid £7,000 to a landscape gardener who has disappeared, Picture: Ella WilkinsonFiona Lever paid £7,000 to a landscape gardener who has disappeared, Picture: Ella Wilkinson

A spokesman for MyBuilder.com said: “Tradespeople who apply to use the service are screened and accounts are actively monitored by a dedicated team. When potential issues are identified, accounts are quickly flagged and restricted while we investigate.”

The website of Suffolk Garden Solutions is still online but Mr Day has not responded to our messages or calls.

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